I have a shiny new car.
Let me back up a moment. This is Mary Jane. She was my car until Saturday.
Mary Jane was a wonderful car, a Subaru Impreza WRX (2003, the best of all body styles and far better than the current one). I liked driving her very very much. I highly recommend this car. It's fun to drive, comfortable, and I had no maintenance problems with her except the time her passenger door stopped locking with the remote. I took her to the dealership and they reconnected a wire. Didn't cost anything.
But Mary Jane drank premium fuel. Although I managed to squeeze about 23 mpg out of her (I usually beat the estimates; I assume this means I don't know how to drive), that extra 20 cents per gallon adds up after a while.... like, a month. Also, it was costing me $1100+ every six months to keep her insured. That's no fun whatsoever. And at 54,000 miles, Mary Jane had entered middle age. Although she had entered it gracefully, age is not kind to turbochargers and intercoolers and other things like that. She was going to start costing some serious money.
Years ago (three and a half or so), I bought Mary Jane in a bit of youthful exuberance. I thought I would be racing her by now. Three years later I have come to recognize--as many of my friends probably recognized immediately--that I am never going to race my car, certainly not so long as I have only one car. Since I don't expect to ever be rich and have extra cars... well, you get the picture. Why drive a middle-aged racecar that's never going to be raced and is expensive to keep fuelled?
Well, because you love her. And I did.
I'd thought about selling her earlier this year, even did a few test drives. But I wanted to pay her off; gave me more options on the trade-in. So the last two months have been my last dance with Mary Jane. She's a fun car. I'll miss her, just as I miss Buffy and Sally who preceeded her. But she deserves an owner who'll race her, or at least rice her. It's what she wants. I'm sure she'll get it.
Incidentally, if you are such a person, I know where a well-maintained white WRX is for sale in Tampa, and I know how much the dealership paid for it, so if you want one... well, you know who to call. Seriously, I want to know how much they charge for her. I may drive by the lot later this week just to look at her. I imagine she'll show up on Autotrader in the next couple days.
So, as I said, I have a shiny new car. I bought Mary Jane when she had less than 4000 miles one her. She was basically new, but someone else had paid the no-longer-new depreciation. I went the same route again on Saturday. Having scouted the dealerships and the cars available, and talked with several noted sources on cars, I settled on a particular vehicle at a particular lot in north Tampa, a red Mazda 3 5-door (touring edition), manual transmission, leather seats, sunroof, and less than 8000 miles.
I knew what Mary Jane was worth. I knew what the new car was worth. I estimated the difference in values and used that as my bargaining tool. It was a satisfying transaction. On the way home, the car told me her name. Her name is Zora. I don't know why, but it's what she told me.
So without further ado, Smitty's World proudly presents Zora: